Edward and I took our time as we made our way to the main Cullen residence.
No one else in the family lived in a separate home - especially with Renesmee in their lives. Alice had a ball planning her daily outfits (which unfortunately didn’t seem to take away any of Alice’s attention to my own clothing decisions), and Jasper and Emmett loved to test her continuously developing abilities and strengths. Esme and Carlise were the perfect Grandparents; alongside Charlie who would visit every few days with Sue Clairwater – they were finally dating on an official level! Then there was Rosalie who was basically Nessie’s secondary mother; she was always more than just an Aunty, ever since the day I told her that I was pregnant – which really did seem like only yesterday. Only at times when I was thinking about the past did I realise at how easy it is to forget about time when you are living forever.
I could hear Nessie’s angelic voice from the living room a mile away. She was full of excitement as she shared her latest hunting experience with everyone in the room – a trait that Edward insists could only have come from Alice! There was no doubt about it that she would re-start the story for us when Edward and I came into the room – she was very descriptive, and always paid attention to detail. When we reached the river near the house I heard Nessie abruptly stop talking, she was obviously listening out for us and had heard that we’d arrived – she was no doubt already on her way to meet us. Physically she was about fifteen years old now and in about 6 months time would develop to a peak-physical-age of approximately seventeen years. We couldn’t expose her to the real world as her body was developing too quickly, so whilst she was a lot more mature than a normal fifteen year old, she still held onto a certain innocence. An innocence that I was only really staring to realise may soon be lost!
“Mum! Dad!” she cried out, with genuine excitement that melted my heart every time. “I’m so excited to see you both….I had so much fun with Jasper and Emmett. Emmett showed me how to –”
“Renesemee,” Edward interrupted. “We are so happy to see you too, but we should go inside so you can finish telling us all about your adventure without repeating yourself too many times.”
She looked at me then back to Edward with a genuinely large grin on her face, we all laughed. Renesmee knew that she had a tendency to get overexcited and very descriptive about things. Smiling back at her I stroked her check.
“Come on” I said, laughing before we ran inside.
In the living room Renesmee was content with being the centre of attention as she described every last detail of her hunting trip with Emmett and Jasper. Whilst I was genuinely focused on my daughter, and in another mesmerised state of awe over her candidly excited personality; I noticed Edward and Alice exchange a look. This look was familiar, but something that I hadn’t seen happen in a while. Alice had seen something! But what? We were safe now – living our happily-ever-after – weren’t we?
There was a knock at the door, but instantly my senses let me know that it was Jacob. Just Jacob. Except the anxious feeling that was triggered from Edward and Alice’s look remained – then I remembered the letter from this morning.
“Hey everyone,” he called out as he let himself in. Jacob visited most days so didn’t need to wait to be let in. “Hey Nessie,” he said, full of excitement and with his usual grin that I was so used to, and usually loved. “Catch any fish?!” I was subconsciously glaring at him now, convincing myself that his usual friendly charm was actually flirtatious.
“Are you hungry Jacob?” Esme asked, interrupting the moment. She must have noticed my reaction to his arrival.
“Ah, I’m fine thanks, I was actually here to ask Nessie something.”
“About the fish I caught, right?” Nessie replied. I really must have been going batty as my stomach was knotting and my paranoia convincing me that Renesmee was flirting back. I really was working myself up!
“No silly!” Jacob scoffed, “we’re having a bonfire tonight, and I was wondering if you wanted to come.”
“So that explains the letter?” I thought to myself. The pack has bonfires all the time that Nessie goes to. It didn’t make me feel any better though; their relationship was still a reality. I felt Edward’s hand gently squeeze my shoulder; I hadn’t seen when he had shifted from his spot on the other side of the couch.
“Sure you can,” Edward said to Nessie. I had officially lost contact with the outside world – she must have looked over at us for permission! But I hadn’t seen. Vaguely looking in their direction I made an attempt at a convincing look of approval. It must of worked – or gone unnoticed altogether.
“Its, ah….kinda like now – so lets go!” Jacob said, sounding excited about spending time with Nessie.
Nessie laughed whilst getting up from the couch, “okay, I’m coming……See you all later on!”
“You two have fun!” Carlise said.
As soon as I heard the door closed behind them I could feel everyone’s eyes on me.
“Is every thing ok Bella?” Esme asked.
Still in my own thought Edward answered for me: “Bella is worried about Nessie; we both are.” His voice was clam and serious. “We just can’t believe that its been six years; Nessie is almost fully grown, and whilst we have accepted this, we are both not quite ready for Jacobs imprinting stage to go to that next level.”
“Ohhh!” Esme said.
Rosalie hissed softly under her breath. I had forgotten at how aggressive she could be. She still didn’t like Jacob, but had learnt to tolerate him. Everyone else was silent. I was finally beginning to come back to the real world. I looked around the room, everyone seemed to be in thought – they wouldn’t have thought about this before; after all, it only hit me this morning!
“What are we going to do?!” I whispered. I knew everyone had heard me, but they seemed to treat it as a rhetorical. The deep thought continued.
Fifteen long minutes later all eyes were on Carlise, as he was the first to breath since we all went into our frozen, statue-like states.
“That’s true,” Edward said, agreeing with something he had heard from Carlise’s thoughts.
“What is it Carlise?” Jasper asked.
“I don’t like the idea of Renesmee entering a romantic relationship with Jacob so early in her life as any of you do, I am still trying to understand exactly how she functions as an even rarer creature than us – as well as come to terms with the fact that she is roughly like fifteen at only six years of age.” He was vacant as he spoke, his mind in a continual thought process.
“She still is six years old!” Emmett demanded, cutting through the state of deep-thought throughout the room.
Edward nodded in agreement knowing what else he was thinking, “yes Emmett, Nessie may look like fifteen but its only in six months that we can even think about exposing her to the real world, sending her to school – interacting with other Humans outside of her family.”
At this, my fears around Jacob and Nessie’s future romance became significantly smaller. A whole knew range of questions came rushing in. As I was beginning to become deeply overwhelmed I decided to share my thoughts with Edward. I took a deep breath and pushed the flexible walls of my mind out, encapsulating him within my bubble. I could tell that he had noticed my presence in his mind as his breathing changed slightly for a split second. Reading my mind was still a surprise to him.
“Bella – you have a point,” he said. “Carlise, have you thought at all about your presence in the hospital, as the community doctor? People really will soon start to notice that you’re not aging.”
“There hasn’t been much to cause concern in that area yet, but your right – ” Carlise said.
“Trying to keep up with Nessie’s growth has really meant that time has just gone so fast,” added Esme.
Rosealie shifted from her statue-like position, and I noticed she had a pleasant smile on her face; “Well that’s it!” she exclaimed. “We have a responsibility – certain ethics to uphold. The Volturi would soon see-to-us if we were to start causing suspicion. Its time to leave!”
“I think your right,” Edward said. “But its not going to prevent what you think it will.”
“Prevent what?” Alice asked looking to Rosealie then Edward.
“Leaving won’t stop Nessie and Jacob from seeing each other,” he said to Rosalie. “The rest of the pack will be trying to avoid phasing soon – immortality is a choice, and most have imprinted now and want begin living their lives with their sole mates.”
Rosalie gritted her teeth, and glared at Edward, “so you expect him to what? Come live with us!?”
“Edward is right,” Carlise calmly interjected. “Just as people will start to notice that we are not growing older, they will notice that Jacob isn’t either. We don’t have much of a choice, he’s a part of Nessies life which makes him a part of ours.”
Rosalie seemed furious now. I was surprised that I wasn’t angrier either, but figured that I would be more-so when things sunk in. I loved that Jacob was a part of my life, just not with the future son-in-law tag attached. Rosalie got up and stormed out of the room and up the stairs to her room.
“I think I’ll go try and talk to her,” Emmett said, “before she breaks something!”
“Good idea,” Carlise said as Emmett left.
“We have over-stayed and it wouldn’t be safe to stay any longer than 4 months – at the latest.” Looking at Edward and I, he added, “I think you two should talk to Jacob first. I can’t say when his relationship with Nessie will become romantic, but when everyone’s in school again she is going to need him more than anything and so are we. Jacob is her friend and can teach her what she needs to learn about interacting in the human-world. Nessie may get confused with the role that is required to be played-out in order to blend in – we can’t risk people finding out you two are her parents for example, it would cause to much suspicion ”
Edward nodded, his hand had made it into mine somehow – which was comforting. This wasn’t just Nessie’s first time living the normal Cullen way of life. We ran home in silence, Renesmee would be another hour or so which was good, as I needed to process a lot of things.
I followed Edward inside our small house, and when we got to our room he turned around to face me, and pulled me in to kiss him, wrapping his arms tightly around my waist. His kiss was strong and reassuring, and there was a particular tone of passion to it; I moved my arm around his neck kissing him back.
After a while of this Edward gently pulled away. Still close though, he whispered, “its going to be ok. Forty years or so will fly by and we will be back here.” He kissed me again. There was so much that I had wanted to say, to discuss with him; but his kiss was so addictive, so reassuring that I gave in to kissing him back again. I was feeling so much love, vulnerability, comfort and more that I subconsciously extended my mind to let him in becoming one. Among other feelings my mind began to subconsciously retrace the day. However, when my mind passed that moment just before Jacob came over to the Cullens house I remembered the look that Edward had sheared with Alice, and how something wasn’t quite right; and it wasn’t, as I felt Edwards body language change, and become more tense.
“What did Alice see?” I demanded.
© Copyright to Jonathan Cameron 2010